Local Trails


Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Click on the image to see the full contents of the Code

The object of this part of the site is to share walks and cycle rides that we have experienced in our area. They do not necessarily follow paths or rights of way and because of this we strongly advise you to study and adhere by the rules of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

At Old Fodderlie we are passionate about the right to responsible access and this has led to a pretty intense study of the Code and how it affects walking in the countryside in our part of Scotland. It is basically a good document, although not without its ‘grey areas’ and a degree of interpretation is required on occasions. It relies on mutual respect between those who own the land and those who have a right to use it. We are also members of Scotways (The Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society). If you are interested in helping maintain access rights in Scotland, it is a worthwhile organisation to join.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Please read the code, particularly Parts 2, 3 and 5 which tell you where you can go, what you can do and how you are expected to behave when you exercise your right to responsible access. If like us, you like to walk with your dog, you should take particular notice of Paragraphs 3.29 to 3.34 concerning farm animals.

The SOAC web site gives full access to everything you need to know about the code, but we have listed below a summary of your access rights, taken directly from Section 2 of the Code. If you read nothing else, please read this!

1.       Everyone, whatever their age or ability, has access rights established by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. You only have access rights if you exercise them responsibly.

2.       You can exercise these rights, provided you do so responsibly, over most land and inland water in Scotland, including mountains, moorland, woods and forests, grassland, margins of fields in which crops are growing, paths and tracks, rivers and lochs, the coast and most parks and open spaces. Access rights can be exercised at any time of the day or night.

3.       You can exercise access rights for recreational purposes (such as pastimes, family and social activities, and more active pursuits like horse riding, cycling, wild camping and taking part in events), educational purposes (concerned with furthering a person’s understanding of the natural and cultural heritage), some commercial purposes (where the activities are the same as those done by the general public) and for crossing over land or water.

4.       Existing rights, including public rights of way and navigation, and existing rights on the foreshore, continue.

5.       The main places where access rights do not apply are:

  • houses and gardens, and non-residential buildings and associated land;
  • land in which crops are growing;
  • land next to a school and used by the school;
  • sports or playing fields when these are in use and where the exercise of access rights would interfere with such use;
  • land developed and in use for recreation and where the exercise of access rights would interfere with such use;
  • golf courses (but you can cross a golf course provided you don’t interfere with any games of golf);
  • places like airfields, railways, telecommunication sites, military bases and installations, working quarries and construction sites; and
  • visitor attractions or other places which charge for entry.

6.       Local authorities can formally exempt land from access rights for short periods. Local authorities and some other public bodies can introduce byelaws.

7.       Access rights do not extend to:

  • being on or crossing land for the purpose of doing anything which is an offence, such as theft, breach of the peace, nuisance, poaching, allowing a dog to worry livestock, dropping litter, polluting water or disturbing certain wild birds, animals and plants;  hunting, shooting or fishing;
  • any form of motorised recreation or passage (except by people with a disability using a vehicle or vessel adapted for their use);
  • anyone responsible for a dog which is not under proper control; or to
  • anyone taking away anything from the land for a commercial purpose.

8.       Statutory access rights do not extend to some places or to some activities that the public have enjoyed on a customary basis, often over a long period of time. Such access is not affected by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and will continue.

The Trails

Below are links to the trails we have identified for you. We have prepared these using the Ordnance Survey OpenSpace mapping application. These will take you to a map with a route shown on it and markers which, when you click on them, give instructions at points on the route.

Please CLICK ON A TRAIL, enjoy your walk or cycle and give us any comments you have on the route!

1. Up Ruberslaw from the Denholmhill road

This trail is mostly off road and is a strenuous walk, requiring weatherproof clothing and stout boots. It is around three and a quarter miles long and will take two and a half to three hours to complete.

2. Hartrigge/Howden, Jedburgh (5 ¾ miles)

This trail is mostly off road and most suitable for walking. It will take  two to two and a half hours walking time. It is a reasonably easy walk but requires stout boots as part of it is very muddy, even in dry weather.

3. Swinnie Woods (4 miles)

This trail is suitable for walking and in part cycling. It will take around two hours to walk the full route. It is a moderately easy walk although there are some steady climbs in places. It follows a signed path through three fields that make have cows in them at certain times of the year. Signs at the gates of these fields  should warn when this is the case, but do not always. There is no signed alternative, but it is possible to avoid them. If you have dogs or are in any way in doubt, you are advised to take the shorter route shown on the map. Stout footware is essential.

4. Fanna Hill (3 miles)

This trail is suitable for walking and in part cycling. It will take around two hours to walk the full route. It is a moderately easy walk although there is one rough section that involves a steep downhill scramble throguh soft ground, bracken and rough forest. It may not be passable in high summer. There are fine views to the north on the climb to the transmitter at the top of Fanna Hill.

5. Harestanes and Bonjedward (4 miles)

The trail starts from the Harestanes Visitor Centre near Ancrum. There are many signed walks starting at the Centrebut this trail, suitable for walking only, is longer than the signed ones. It is mainly off road, although there is one short section that is on the A68 trunk road and needs care, especially with dogs or children. After your walk, enjoy a snack or a coffee at the excellent Harestanes coffee shop. The Centre itself is well worth a visit with first class children’s entertainment, both indoors or out. Entry is free and the centre is open from  April to October.

If you should encounter problems

If, during your walk, you come across a problem (for example a signed path blocked or unreasonable contact with a land owner) you should contact your local Council Access Officer who will be able to advise you as to what action can be taken. Please note that while we are happy to discuss any such issue you may have through this site, we are unable to do any more than advise who you should speak to in order to seek resolution.

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